Finra fines, suspends ex-Cetera broker for Woodbridge-related transactions

Roger Owens agrees to $10,000 fine and to return almost $60,000 in commissions

Aug 15, 2019 @ 2:16 pm

By InvestmentNews

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has fined former Cetera broker Roger Owens $10,000 and suspended him from the securities industry for a year for engaging in private securities transactions without Cetera's knowledge or approval.

[More:Finra suspends broker over Woodbridge-related sales]

Signing a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent, Mr. Owens also agreed to disgorge the $59,471 in commissions he received.

Mr. Owens, who was terminated by Cetera in April over his trading activities, is no longer employed in the securities business. He had been affiliated with Cetera for 11 years, and had been affiliated with four other firms since he began his career in 1993.

[More:Finra bars ex-broker for private securities deals]

According to Finra, Mr. Owens solicited investors to purchase promissory notes relating to the Woodbridge Group of Companies, a purported real-estate investment fund, between November 2015 and October 2017. Mr. Owens sold $1.17 million in Woodbridge promissory notes to 14 investors, four of whom were Cetera customers, Finra said, and received $59,471 in commissions in connection with these transactions. Although Cetera's written supervisory procedures prohibit registered representatives from engaging in private securities transactions without approval, Mr. Owens never sought or received approval from Cetera to sell Woodbridge promissory notes. In addition, he falsely attested in his 2016, 2017, and 2018 compliance questionnaires that he had not engaged in any private securities transactions without receiving prior written approval from his Firm.

In December 2017, Woodbridge filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

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